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10 Sue Kerber of Rad Soap Company


Salumi in Pasta Sfoglia/Puff Pastry with Italian Cured Meats courtesy of Mary Ann Espisito from her book Ciao Italia.

DOCCS • Photo by Blue Iris Photography



22 Cover companion

40 Financial Corrections take time

41 Spiritual grounding *NEW*

FEATURES 10 Women owned businesses


Publisher’s letter


Arts & Entertainment

Find your passion, find your bliss

42 Fashion How to style a button–down, white shirt

30 Bringing Italy into our kitchens 32 Integrative medicine in the Capital Region


43 Parenting


Bringing a furbaby into your family

28 Valentine’s dining guide

50 Last page Keller’s heart

34 Senior living 37 Home Improvement




HOME OFFICE 12 AVIS DRIVE #20 LATHAM, NEW YORK 12110 PHONE: 518.294.4390 FIND US ONLINE AT CRLMAG.COM SERVING THE GREATER CAPITAL REGION AND BEYOND Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Many of the ads in this issue were created by Capital Region Living Magazineâ„¢ and cannot be reproduced without permission from the publisher. Established 2003





he word progression means the process of developing or moving gradually towards a more advanced state, and that is how I feel about our Cover Companions issue. We have had so much fun, perhaps more than any other of our annual issues, developing Cover Companions. From the entries that we receive to reading the stories to fawning over the cutest animals ever, our Cover Companion team of judges and the staff of CRL just love every bit of it. The fact that we can raise money for our Capital Region Animal Advocacy nonprofit partners is icing on the cake. We have to thank our amazing judges who are tasked with making the hardest decision… selecting our winner: Steve Caporizzo (WNYT‐10), Dr. Mike Casler (Guilderland Animal Hospital), Dr. Lexi Becker (The Animal Hospital), Deb Balliet (APF), Meredith Murray (Capital Vets), and Megan Morrell (Destination Kia.) Now the word progression comes into play because next year, we are taking our concept even farther. Stay tuned in the coming months for some announcements about where we take Cover Companions next. You can be assured that there will be more cuteness and more money raised to help our animal community. This year, our winner is the sweetest cat ever. Yes, after a string of doggie wins, we have our first feline! What a story to read and enjoy. DOCCS makes a great cover too!! I just learned that every ear of corn contains roughly 800 kernels in 16 rows. The kernels, once planted can net one hundred bushels of corn and can contain upwards of 7,280,000 kernels and on and on. This year, Capital Region Living Magazine is sowing the kernels from our successful past, and we plan to grow not only the Cover Companion concept and issue but the upcoming “Bestie” issues and celebrations, and our Capital Region Living by Giving program while still sowing more new kernels. Powerful women sowing their own kernels as well as an interview with Mary Ann Esposito grace this magical issue. All wonderful reads so cud‐ dle next to the fire and enjoy. We thank you each and every day for supporting our efforts as we continue planting, nurturing and growing. Gratefully yours, Vikki Moran


WOMEN OWNED | BUSINESSES How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

Photography has been a lifelong love of mine. I got my first camera at seven, took photography in college and had a dark­ room in my house when my kids were young. I took photos of children throughout my teaching and daycare careers. In 2008, I opened Blue Iris Photography part­time and have never looked back.

Linda Peluso Wilson | Blue Iris Photography



Linda Peluso Wilson Describe your business.

Blue Iris Photography is a full service, bou­ tique studio, set on three landscaped acres. We specialize in newborns, baby’s first year and families. Our new studio has 16­ foot ceilings, many windows for natural light, an old fashioned window seat and a 27­foot wall of closets and built­ins for all of our vintage props and boutique cloth­ ing/accessories.


Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

Sue Kerber | Rad Soap Company

I became a portrait photographer because of my love for both children and beautiful fami­ ly portraits. Being a full­service studio, I help clients enjoy their family’s artwork every day in their home. We offer archival quality prints and products, breathtaking fine art that can be passed down to future generations.

recommend starting out on a part­time basis, while improving skills, building their portfolio and a larger client base.

Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?


I am self­taught. I attend classes, retreats, workshops and have an insatiable desire to learn and grow as an artist. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

I have mentored several new photogra­ phers, having them work alongside me. I


Typically, I work 9am – 5pm, seven days a week, by appointment only.



Susan Kerber Describe your business.

We are a manufacturer of natural skincare and cosmetics. We are committed to adhering

to strict quality standards. I always say, “If my family won’t use it, then we won’t sell it.”


How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?


We are celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. When my children were little, my son had eczema. I had tried so many things, but nothing worked. Finally, I turned to nature. I did a lot of research and formu­ lated a cream using hemp and borage oil to help his skin without chemicals, and it worked. We sell that same formulation today in some of our bars. I set out to cre­ ate “products with purpose” and to create the world's best bar of soap. I think we did. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

My father ­ he passed away ­ he ran his own small business in Schenectady. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

I am so proud to say that my sons are both involved with this business. Anyone who needs accountability to push them into something they love I am here to do it, pur­ sue your dreams! Hours:

Monday to Friday 10am – 8pm; Saturday 10am – 6pm; Sunday 12pm – 5pm


Patti Varga Describe your business.

The Cross Eyed Owl features a curated selection of gifts and home décor that is categorized and displayed by theme to make shopping enjoyable. You will be delighted, whether you're searching for the perfect hostess gift on your lunch hour or hoping to redecorate an entire room. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

I've spent most of my life in retail, starting in my family's farm equipment store. I never really intended to own a gift shop. The opportunity arose to take over one of the shops I was selling my handmade items in, and 25 years later here we are. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

Owning a gift shop allows me the opportu­ nity to use all of my talents in one venue. Each day is something new, and it never gets boring, that is why I love what I do.

Patti Varga | The Cross Eyed Owl

Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

Growing up in the family business allowed me to gain an understanding of what it meant to have your own business, so I'd have to say that my parents continue to this day to be my mentors. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

Anytime a person shows interest in entre­ preneurship, I relay as much of my journey as possible. I encourage them to find a field they are passionate about and remind them that hard work and the Grace of God will carry them through. Hours:

Monday & Tuesday / Thursday & Friday 10am – 6pm; Wednesday 10am – 8pm; Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 12pm – 5pm



than honing your craft; it requires a busi­ ness plan, commitment to the plan, and flexibility to change the plan, as necessary. Hours:

Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm

Christina W. Meier | Meier Law Firm, PLLC



Christina W. Meier, Esq. Describe your business.

Monica Kasongo Muamba | Mkas Lika

Legal counsel in the areas of elder law, estate planning and administration, guardianships, and real estate.


How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?


Motivated by my desire to control my own destiny, I opened my firm in 2005. As the owner, I’m able to create my own brand; hand­pick my team; create a warm work­ ing environment, and take the time neces­ sary to build relationships with my clients. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

I know it sounds cliché, but I love helping people in times of need. We work with clients to plan for incapacity and/or death; clients who are in transition; who are in crisis; or who are grieving the loss of a loved one. We also take a practical approach to problem­solving, which our clients appreciate. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

My mother was my greatest mentor. She opened her own firm shortly after becom­ ing licensed as a CPA. She created a client­ centered atmosphere; she led by example and was guided by her morals and values. My mother passed away in 2017, and I now share ideas with my sister, also a business owner. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

Being an entrepreneur is extremely excit­ ing, fulfilling and nerve­wracking at the same time. My advice is to follow your pas­ sion and embrace your uniqueness. Be mindful that running a business is more 12 | FEBRUARY 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


Monica Kasongo Muamba Describe your business.

MKas Lika Boutique provides unique, capti­ vating, affordable merchandise (men’s and women’s clothes and accessories) hand­ picked from around the world to enhance our customers’ confidence. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

I have been in this industry for a year and four months. I grew up in a family where both my parents owned businesses, and this was my childhood dream. Life took a detour when I came to the USA. I am a nurse, instructor, public speaker and president and founder of a non­profit organization. Three years ago, I felt the urge to go back to my childhood dream. And this is a way of open­ ing my closet to the public for those who always wanted to see it! I only sell something that I personally can wear or use. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

I have a special way of dressing and putting myself together. I have love and a passion for empowering others; the opening of this boutique is another way of me emancipat­ ing others because what you wear changes the way you walk, talk, and view life! Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

I do not have a specific mentor at this

moment, but I am always open to sugges­ tions and read books to learn how others have made it in business. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

If you want to own a business, you have to discover your passion and talent and be obsessed with your dream. Hours:

Monday to Friday 11am – 7pm; Saturday 10am – 6pm; Sunday 12pm – 4pm

Mary Vail | Joyelles Jewelers



Mary Vail Describe your business.

We are a retail jeweler with repair and design services on premises. Our goal is to assist each client to the best of our ability. As a family owned and operated shop, we are more interested in maintaining a warm relationship with our customers than mak­ ing a big sale. We offer jewelry repair rang­ ing from simple reattachments and solders to challenging restoration and redesign. Our inventory includes fine jewelry and dia­ monds, sterling silver, pearls, estate jewel­ ry, watches, glassware, giftware, scarves, scents and lotions and much more. Our Gemologists and knowledgeable staff are on hand to assist you with all of your jewel­ ry and giftware needs. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

I've been making jewelry since college. I went to Skidmore where I studied with Earl Pardon. I then studied metalsmithing at Indiana University. I was working at Kelly's Jewelers and opened my own store so that I could have some flexibility as a young mother. CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2019 |


Of all your talents and interest, why choose this line of business?

Art and creating things has always been a passion of mine, and with jewelry, I can cre­ ate and redesign pieces as well as repair beautiful items. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

I would tell anyone thinking about starting a business to choose something you have a passion for. If you don't, it won't be as pleasurable, because there are always going to be challenges. Having that love for what you do will help you surmount them. Hours:

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:30am – 5:30pm; Thursday 9:30am – 7pm; Saturday 9:30am – 3pm

ly. I have always liked snowshoeing and thought it would be a great way to have fun while I worked. I wanted to encourage peo­ ple to get outside to enjoy the snow rather than dread it! Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

at the Schenectady County Public Library. In 1983, I took a position at a new book­ store my former colleague had just opened, and I purchased the store in 1992. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

My mentor has been the person that designed the snowshoes. He has been instrumental in getting me started. Many of my friends and family members have given me great ideas on making my product bet­ ter or ways to market them.

While the book business is often very diffi­ cult, I love the challenge and expectation of something new each day. As with most retail, there is the excitement of new ship­ ments arriving and never knowing just who might walk through the door and what they might need.

How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

Anyone starting their own business should make a business plan right from the begin­ ning. It forces you to think of the steps you need to accomplish to be successful. You have to set goals and review them fre­ quently. Sometimes things change for a business or industry and you have to keep evaluating the direction for your business.

Of course, I learned a lot about business from the original owner and also from The American Booksellers Association which offers educational sessions, conferences, and services to members. I also feel fortu­ nate to have been involved in the Chamber, Metroplex and The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

At The Open Door, we have been very fortu­ nate to find employees with a variety of tal­ ents, and each have contributed to what the store is today. Hours:

Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm; Thursday 10am – 8pm; Sunday 10am – 2pm Joanne Petrozzi-Jones | NeviTREK


Janet Hutchison and staff | The Open Door Bookstore


Joanne Petrozzi­Jones Describe your business.

NeviTREK is a snowshoe manufacturer, offering sizes to fit most adults and teens. Designs and materials can accommodate recreational snowshoe events as well as more demanding conditions. We are proud to use as many locally supplied and U.S.­ made components as possible in our snow­ shoe assemblies. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

I have been in business for five years. I was looking for a career change and the oppor­ tunity to make snowshoes fell in my lap. I knew someone selling the design and the equipment so I jumped on it. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

I thought it would be a great adventure to learn a new business and run it successful­ 14 | FEBRUARY 2019 | CRLMAG.COM



Janet Hutchison Describe your business.

The Open Door is Schenectady's locally­ owned independent bookstore and gift gallery, serving the Capital Region for more than 45 years. We carry a wide selection of literature, with an emphasis on children's books and those of local and regional inter­ est, as well as an expansive variety of toys, gifts, jewelry, stationery, personal acces­ sories, and home goods. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

I have always loved books and reading and started my career as a children’s librarian

Susan Ungerman | Ungerman Electric



Susan Ungerman Describe your business:

We are an Electrical Contractor providing services to residential and commercial clients throughout the Capital Region. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your

own business?

This business was started by my father 50 years ago. The baton was passed to my hus­ band who died unexpectedly. I was a social worker and mother of 4 who took over the leadership out of necessity. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

This business picked me! At the end of the day, this business is about people (clients, partners, employees, and the community). My social work background has provided a good platform to lead and grow the business. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

Naturally, my father provided guidance. My Chief Operating Officer, Allan Greenberg has had a great impact on mak­ ing this a market­focused company. Over time I have built a network of "trusted advisors" across industries who have pro­ vided great feedback and insight. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

Have a plan and be focused. Surround yourself with smart and passionate people. Give back to the community. Hours:

We are open Monday to Friday from 8am­ 5pm. We provide emergency service 24/7.


Tara Camardo Attanasio | Azalea



Tara Camardo Attanasio Describe your business.

Azalea is an evening wear, prom, and bridal by appointment boutique. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

I have been in the fashion industry for over 20 years, working in every aspect of the business, from the garment district to pub­



lic relations, and retail management. Owning my own business was always my ultimate goal. My vision was to create a boutique with a unique collection of dress­ es in a customer service driven atmosphere. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

Fashion was something that I knew from very early on I had a knack for. Making con­ nections with people is something that comes easily to me, so combining those two things seemed like it would be a natural fit. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

I have had two mentors through this process. Angela Galofaro, my previous employer, who taught me about the bridal business. My other mentor was Matthew Hosek from UAlbany's Business Small Development Center, who helped walk me through the process of making my dream a reality. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

I think the best way to mentor someone is to bring them in and let them be hands on. There are so many aspects of the business that are not always glamorous, and you need to be sure you have the mindset and the patience for it, ensuring it is the right fit for you. Hours:

We are open Tuesday and Thursday 11am – 7pm; Wednesday and Friday from 10am – 5pm; Saturday 10am – 4pm; and Sundays by appointment only.

and products. Dermalinfusion is my newest device which shows amazing cumulative effects for both anti­aging and active acne conditions. My goal is that clients feel reju­ venated both inside and out after each cus­ tom treatment. I take great pride in my clients’ results and continued loyalty. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

I have practiced for 21 years; working at a spa, plastic surgeons practices, and now in my own, brand new, multi­room treatment facility. Being an independent aesthetician allows me the freedom to be creative and offer my clients more options to address their skincare goals. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

It’s been an ongoing priority to help others feel confident about their appearance, and I have always been obsessed with skincare products. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

Lenora Wattaux, my first skincare instruc­ tor, blended both eastern and western philosophies to create a stronger balance of knowledge in the aesthetic business. I also have to acknowledge my mentors at the Plastic Surgery Group where I worked for 12 years while running my own business. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

You need to believe in yourself and love what you do. Owning your own business isn’t for everyone. Follow your dream, but with realistic goals and aspirations. Hours:

Open Tuesday to Friday (Saturday, by appointment only)



Nina Sher Ruth Trinchillo | Skin Solutions



Ruth Trinchillo Describe your business:

I am a corrective skin care specialist with a strong emphasis on Medical Aesthetics. Each treatment is custom tailored to the client’s specific needs. I strive to learn new techniques and work with new equipment 16 | FEBRUARY 2019 | CRLMAG.COM

Describe your business.

I am a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson / Senior Real Estate Specialist, offering my clients of all ages a full­service Capital Region real estate experience. As an Accredited Staging Professional, I can also help clients stage their homes to encourage their home to sell faster and for more money. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

Five years ago, I retired from my career as a French and Spanish teacher and was

Nina Sher | Hunt Real Estate

Judi Stone | Take 2 Artworks

looking for a new direction, knowing I had more to offer. One day I was out looking at townhouses, thinking that my husband and I may want to downsize. I met several real estate agents during my search and began to imagine myself in their shoes. I also had many positive memories of my mother sell­ ing real estate in the ’70s.

How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

I thought that my interest in houses of all kinds, my teaching skills and my desire to help people would help me be successful in the world of real estate. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

There have been many! I’m grateful for the guidance and expertise each has shown me. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

Your professional reputation is key to a long and healthy career. That includes hon­ esty, integrity, attention to details, great communication skills, learning the facts, and follow­up. In other words, put yourself in your clients’ shoes at all times and above all else, act in their best interest. Hours:

Available by appointment, 7 days per week.



I have been doing creative projects all my life. After getting my interior design certifi­ cation, I painted my oak kitchen cabinets which prompted a renovation business to help others. In 2011, I lost my dad, and that was the turning point to start my own busi­ ness. I didn’t want to have any regrets! Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

Kitchen renovation combines art, design, painting and handling power tools! I devel­ oped a passion for the practical side of ren­ ovation and realized how much satisfaction there is in transforming spaces that make my clients fall in love with their homes all over again. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have many mentors. I admire craftsmen who had the confidence to start and nurture their own businesses. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

Inspiring others to follow their dreams is very important to me. I take every opportu­ nity to support others who want to work with their hands and love what they do. Hours:

Available by appointment.

Judi Stone


Describe your business.


In this disposable world, I believe in the preservation of all things well made while giving your space and cabinets new life. I am a certified interior designer, artist, and contractor who offers affordable updates in your home with the best return on invest­ ment. Whether you are preparing your home to sell or want to love where you live, I advise on paint colors and finishes that complement your home to physically restoring the existing cabinets and tile backsplash installation.


Lauren M. Laberge Describe your business.

Laberge Massage Therapy places an emphasis on wellness. I use techniques to help your body feel its best. My patients come to my practice to relieve their chron­ ic pain, address specific injuries, and to move with ease. I strive to provide my patients with the highest level of care and CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2019 |


Describe your business.

Pause is an art and fine craft gallery that sells glass, ceramics, wood, and jewelry as well as photography, painting, and mixed media work. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

We’ve been in business for almost six months. My impetus to start the business was a love of fine craft and art. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

Lauren Laberge | Laberge Massage Therapy

Marla Ortega | Illium Café Bistro

education/information to achieve and maintain a healthy and happy body.

Haven Country Club in Guilderland for pri­ vate events, parties, and weddings.

How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

Twelve years ago, I began my second career as a Licensed Massage Therapist. My goal was to provide people with a high level of care and expertise. Developing and running my own practice was the best way for me to achieve my goal.

I have been in the business for nine years. My love and passion for food made me want to start my business.

My husband and I have been avid collectors of contemporary American craft and art for more than 40 years, and this is a way to introduce this work to a larger community. As a family, we have been inspired by William Morris who said: “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” We feel that the objects that we carry fulfill both of that criteria.

Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

I truly love the experience and memories of creating and enjoying food.

My mentor has been Janet Tanguay who guided me through the Capital Region Chamber Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp. I’ve also been inspired by all the artists and gallery owners I have known throughout the years.

Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

After years of physical therapy, bodywork and recovery from multiple injuries a career in Massage Therapy just made sense. I use a multitude of skills from my past teaching career and past experiences to put people at ease, listen to their bodywork goals and help them reach those goals. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

My Mom and Dad enabled me to pursue and achieve my entrepreneurial goals. Growing up I saw my father build his own business and my mother manage a full house of six children. They are the best mentors I could ever ask for.

Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

I have had many mentors along the way. Some that come to mind are Ric Orlando, Yono, and Dale Miller. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

I explain to them the struggles, and the adventures that owning your own business brings. Hours:

Monday, 8am – 5pm; Tuesday & Wednesday, 8am – 6pm; Thursday to Saturday, 8am – 8pm

How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

I haven’t been in business long enough to mentor others, but I would tell them that it will take longer, be harder and cost more than you planned on. Hours:

Monday, Thursday, and Friday 11am – 6pm; Saturday 9:30am – 6pm; Sunday 12pm – 5pm

How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

I frequently encourage other therapists and business people to start their own business­ es. We talk about all aspects of business, and I share my experiences to shape their plan. Hours:

Monday to Thursday; 7am – 5pm



Gail Snitkoff | Pause gallery

Marla Ortega


Describe your business.


Illium Café is a restaurant that loves to cre­ ate memorable and consistent dishes and service. We are also now open at The Pine 18 | FEBRUARY 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


Gail Snitkoff

Effie Vasilakos | Effie’s Boutique



Effie Vasilakos

Describe your business.

Effie’s Boutique is a clothing boutique for the everyday woman offering selections from lounge to formal wear. Our goal is to empower women of every age. We hope every woman who enters our store, whether browsing or buying, leaves with a smile. We love having clients enter our store, find something they love that they can’t stop thinking about it. Then, come back to buy it. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

Effie’s Boutique opened in the fall of 2018. I am originally from Montreal, Canada where privately­owned boutiques were a dime a dozen. When I relocated to the Capital Region I realized there were very few boutiques in the area. I felt this type of business was a great opportunity and I also love the industry. Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

I want my customers to feel beautiful and confident in what they wear at every stage of their life and for whatever their day brings. I want you to come, take your time, try on some pieces and feel at home. Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

My biggest mentors have been my parents

and in­laws. They are immigrants who ran successful businesses. Their advice and sup­ port is unmatched. How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

Go for it! It is so satisfying to run my own business and making every woman who steps into my store leave happy and confi­ dent. It is all about empowering women. Hours:

Tuesday to Thursday & Saturday 10am – 7pm; Friday 10am – 8pm; Sunday 9am – 5pm



Betsy Manware Describe your business.

Healthy Café Catering is a full­service caterer that can provide an intimate party for ten to an elaborate wedding for 200. From corporate breakfast and luncheons to showers, cocktail receptions and weddings, we are committed to providing you with delicious food at affordable prices. How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?

Betsy Manware | Healthy Café Catering

I’ve been in the food industry for 25 years and have owned my business for 15 years. It all began as a side job to generate extra income and slowly grew into a successful business venture. Of all your talents and interested, why choose this line of business?

I started working in the food industry two days after I graduated from Russell Sage College with a degree in Health Education. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but I quickly realized that my strong work ethic and love of food was a powerful combination to own my own business.



Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

years, with the last 14 working in the Plastic Surgery, Dermatology and Medical Aesthetics field. I have spent the last nine years as a clin­ ical educator, traveling the country educating doctors and other health care providers the true art of Aesthetic Medicine.

My best friend, Michele O’Conner­St. Pierre, has been my long­time mentor since I worked for her in her downtown Albany deli over two decades ago. She was, and still is, an amazing role model.

Of all your talents and interests, why choose this line of business?

How would you, or do you mentor others who want to pursue their own business?

I have always had a passion for medicine and aesthetics. With this business, I can combine my medical skills and passion for aesthetics. There has been a stigma that one is "vain" if even considering proce­ dures. It is not vanity that drives us to be the very best version of ourselves.

I have mentored other potential business owners and would like to continue to do so in the future. The best advice I could offer them is to start slowly, grow gradually and be prepared to work long hours and sacri­ fice a lot to pursue your dream. Hours:

The Healthy Café Catering Company is available for parties seven days a week.



Kelly Heffernan, NP Describe your business.

My Medical Aesthetics practice provides minimally invasive cosmetic treatments and medical grade skin care services. We help our patients to proactively slow down


Kelly Heffernan | The Artistry of Face

Who has been your mentor throughout your entrepreneurial journey?

the facial aging process by restoring specif­ ic facial volume loss, correcting past skin damage and preventing future damage. I help my patients restore facial symmetry where medical conditions, such as Bell's palsy, cleft palate or severe burns, have left asymmetry. We also offer our clients body contouring services using CoolSculpting.

My biggest group of mentors have been some of my patients who, as business own­ ers themselves, encouraged me to start my own business. Additionally, I count many medical spa owners as friends and mentors. I would not have been able to do this with­ out their unwavering support, guidance, and encouragement along this journey.

How long have you been in the industry and what prompted you to start your own business?


I have been in the medical field for over 20

Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm; Saturday 9am – 5pm. Call for an appointment; Walk­ ins welcome


THE ANIMAL HOSPITAL 2 Rocking Horse Lane, Slingerlands 518.456.0852; theanimalhospital.com We at The Animal Hospital have dedicated our lives and this practice to our patients. Our serene veterinary office is a warm and inviting practice for you and your companion. By choice we remain a small hospital allowing all of our staff to know you and your pet, giving whatever time is necessary to meet your needs. Every patient benefits from our commitment to be at the forefront in veterinary medicine. We do our best to reassure them with a gentle voice and soft touch. Our philosophy is to treat each patient as if they were our own family member.

GUILDERLAND ANIMAL HOSPITAL 4963 Western Turnpike, Guilderland 518.355.0260; guilderlandanimalhosp.com Guilderland Animal Hospital has been providing veterinary care for the Capital District since 1955. As an AAHA accredited hospital since 1973, GAH provides quality and professional pet care adhering to the high standards of AAHA. Services include routine preventive and urgent care, diagnostic imaging, advanced dental surgery and general/laser surgery for cancer and orthopedic procedures and multimodal pain management including laser therapy. Ancillary services include bathing, boarding, and RX pet foods. The GAH staff acknowledges the importance of the human-pet bond and strives to support that bond with multiple treatment options and staff and client education.

SCHENECTADY DOG TRAINING CLUB 823 Gower Road, Scotia 518.393.6088; sdtcdogs.com Schenectady Dog Training Club, Inc., formed in 1951, is located in West Glenville, NY, and offers training classes in obedience, agility and rally obedience for your canine companion. All regular sessions run for six weeks and are offered five times a year, starting in January, March, May, July, and September, with a four-week mini session. While the primary goal for those joining our club is often simply a well-socialized, well-behaved family pet, many members go on to participate in various community activities, such as demonstrations, parades, educational programs, rescue, and therapy dog work. All dogs are welcome.





By Beth Krueger Photos by Blue Iris Photography

The “Tails” and Lessons of DOCCS


hristina Calabrese stepped out of the Ulster Correctional Facility on a bitter snowy day in January two years ago. As an attorney, she had taken a deposition there. Ahead of her was the 80‐mile trip back home to the Capital District. She had only driven a few yards when something caught her eye. What was that flash of black and white? Something tiny moving in the adjoining wood lot. Was that furry something out in the woods prepared for this cold weather? She had to check it out so, in business suit, she climbed over a stone wall and into the snow. There it was, barely moving – a tiny kitten, likely only a few weeks old. “I kept reminding myself of the three dogs and a cat, already part of the family back home in Niskayuna, but I just couldn’t leave him,” she recalled. Christina scooped up the ball of fur and wrapped him in her scarf. His condition looked so precarious—signs of mauling with cuts and a bent tail—that she drove him to the first community and looked up a veterinarian. The vet confirmed her con‐ cern. Yes, the kitten had been mangled by other animals, infections had taken hold, mites were present, there was a hip problem, and, by the way, an X‐ray showed remains of a mouse. The future was in doubt for the fragile little one. There were decisions to make. “I thought that if the vet could stabilize him, I would take him to our family vet,” Christina said.

What’s in a name? As Christina and kitten continued on the trip back to the Capital District, the power of a name came to mind. After all, a cat that is out and about needs to have an identity. “I decid‐ ed to call him DOCCS,” since he was found near the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision facility, Christina explained. When she told her family that she was eager to tell them about DOCCS, they weren’t expecting a tale about a kitten’s tail and more. The next step was a visit to the Adirondack Veterinary Clinic in Ballston Spa for an external/internal nose‐to‐tail exam and some treatment. The checkup turned into a


“I really think it was meant to be.”

five‐day stay. “After about a week of in‐patient care at our amazing vet, DOCCS made it!” Christina said. Finally, DOCCS began to respond to medication to get his infections under control. The plan had been to find someone to adopt DOCCS once he gained

strength and was, in essence, back on his paws. However, the Calabrese kids, then ages seven and five, had fallen in love with him and thought that DOCCS had already found a home with them. “P‐l‐e‐a‐s‐e, can he stay with us?” A home visit showed that the other dogs and the

cat in the household accepted him, too. He settled in and became a friendly feline who loves to be stroked and cuddled. Some months after DOCCS joined the fam‐ ily, the older pets passed away. His four‐legged companions now include a Maine coon cat, Kylo Ren, and a 140‐pound Great Dane, Artemis. DOCCS, who now weighs about eight pounds, enjoys snuggling up against Artemis, who is fine with that. Signs of his past remain. He has a limp and part of his tail is missing, but he is thriving on care and love. He definitely is an indoor cat, Christina reported. He wants to stay safe in the house. He’s had enough adventures.

Life lessons “I really think it was meant to be,” Christina observed. For adults and children, she said, he is a beacon of joy. She adds that she has felt rescued by DOCCS as much as she rescued him. After a challenging day, it’s great to spend time with DOCCS and companions. Christina has found that the tale of DOCCS also has demonstrated some important life lessons for the kids to learn: “They’ve seen that when someone is abused or falls on hard times, it can take just one moment of your action to CRL turn things around.”




n tine’s e l a V




Dining Gu id

The statements regarding "Bestie" wins are from prior years. 2019 announcements of "Bestie" wins will be in March and May issues.


Book your Valentine’s reservations now Conveniently located about 15 minutes south of Downtown Saratoga in Round Lake, Bob McKenna and award-winning Chef Scott Ringwood’s Lake Ridge Restaurant has been a local favorite for casual fine dining for 17 years. Lake Ridge specializes in New American cuisine, which is highlighted in our lunch and dinner menus. McKenna says Lake Ridge Restaurant, which operates under the slogan “simply the best and voted the best,” is proud of its “consistent greatness,” as it has been winning awards for more than a decade, including Best Fine Dining in Capital Region Living’s “Bestie” awards.

Canali's Restaurant has been providing their customers with wonderful cuisine at their Rotterdam location for over 70 years. We offer fine dining on premise or you can take advantage of the great tasting food and excellent service when you take our food on the road to your location. Whether it's a sit down dinner for two, a birthday party or an elegant banquet, Canali's Restaurant will add immeasurably to your next event. You can relax in our dining room, order "take-out" from our menu or let us cater your next affair.







35 Burlington Avenue • Round Lake • Exit 11 Northway Lake-Ridge.com • 518.899.6000

126 Mariaville Rd. • Schenectady 518.355.5323 • canalisrestaurant.com CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2019 |



At Chez Mike, our goal is to provide a superior dining experience through exceptional service and fresh, from-scratch food, in a relaxed neighborhood atmosphere. We are a casual restaurant serving Eclectic American Cuisine which changes seasonally. Voted Best Rensselaer County Restaurant 7 years in a row and Best East/North Greenbush Restaurant 4 years in a row!

596 Columbia Tpke Hannaford Plaza, East Greenbush 518.479.4730 • chezmikerestaurant.com

Voted Best Chinese Cuisine The Gold Coin restaurant was first opened in 1987 in it's present location at 1360 New Scotland Avenue Slingerlands, NY. Owned and operated by the Kung and Cheung families, the restaurant was torn down in 2004 and completely rebuilt. It now accommodates 70 people and includes a full bar with flat-screen TV. The restaurant is open six days a week and closed on Tuesdays.

1360 New Scotland Road • Slingerlands 518.439.6428 • goldcoinrestaurant.com 28 | FEBRUARY 2019 | CRLMAG.COM


We began serving traditional, delicious Mexican and Spanish cuisine in the Capital Region 23 years ago. Owned by Patty Bermejo-Bhola and Freddie Bhola. Patty came from the beautiful colonial city of Puebla where traditional cuisine and outstanding specialties include: mole poblano, pipian and gorditas poblanas. With the strong family tradition that their parents taught them, the Bermejo family have been able to start the first authentic Mexican restaurant in the Capital Region.

Thank you for all your continued support.

VOTED #1 CHICKEN WINGS Finalist for Pub, Ribs, W. Sand Lake/Averill Park Restaurant

We invite you to come enjoy our award-winning food in the comfort of our renovated 1800s blacksmith shop creek-side in Averill Park. If you are stopping in for drink with friends or a family dinner, we have it all. Try our many barbeque entrees, slow cooked on premises, our award-winning pizza or one of our many home-style entrees. Our upstairs dining room features a private room for that perfect party!


VALENTINE'S DAY ACOUSTIC ACT Thursday 14th with Steak, Seafood, Dessert & Drink Specials

FEBRUARY ENTERTAINMENT 271 Lark Street (Serving Tapas Only!) • Albany • 465.2568 289 Hamilton Street • Albany • 432.7580 www.Elmariachisrestaurant.com • www.elmariachitapas.com

Friday 1st ~ DJ Sal

Friday 22nd ~ Katie Louise

Friday 8th ~ Geo

Thursday 28th ~ Trivial Trivia

Thursday 21st ~ Just Rich

2850 NY 43 • Averill Park • 518.674.3040 • thetownetavern.com

Don’t forget your sweetheart on Valentine’s day

This Queen-Anne Stone Castle has been transformed from a private residence into a luxurious Inn & farm-to-table, AAA 4 Diamond Restaurant. Our Executive Chef features an array of local farm-fresh ingredients prepared in a contemporary manner. Dining at Erlowest is available year-round with seasonally inspired menus to ensure each visit to Erlowest is a new experience. Serving Wednesday - Sunday 5:00pm - 8:00pm.

3178 Lake Shore Drive • Lake George 518.668.5928 • theinnaterlowest.com

VOTED ONE OF THE TOP RESTAURANTS IN COLONIE DeMarco's Restaurant is family–owned and operated. Inside our cozy walls, you will find friendly smiles and good old fashioned Italian cooking. Everything is fresh, homemade and prepared to order. From a variety of appetizers, pizzas and entrees, you will be sure to find something for the entire family. We look forward to serving you.

1965 Central Avenue • Colonie 518.456.7574 • www.demarcosofcolonie.com CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2019 |


Bringing Italy home to our kitchens By Rebecca Whalen


Mary Ann accepting the Premio Artusi award in Forlimpopoli, Italy, home to Italian writer Pellegrino Artusi for whom the award is named. Artusi wrote the definitive work, The Art of Eating Well, which became the benchmark cookbook for all Italians.


or Mary Ann Esposito, life has always focused on food. The eldest daughter of an Italian American family, Esposito grew up in Western New York learning the rich tradition and skills of cooking authentic south‐ ern Italian cuisine. Her mother and Neapolitan grandmother ran a boarding house where the family also lived, and the kitchen seemed to remain at the center of all aspects of their bustling life, business and family alike. And whether she knew it or not at the time, Esposito’s life was heading down a path steeped in her heritage. “Subconsciously, these women really influenced me with their dedication to the family,” she says. “That’s the key thing about Italians in general. The family is the glue that holds everything together, and a big part of that glue is the food.” If there was a wedding, food was the nat‐ ural way to celebrate. If someone passed, food helped them to mourn. If there was a birthday, a holiday, a get together of any kind, it was food that made them more than gatherings. And even on vacations, the preparation of food seemed to slip its way into their days. “We went to a cabin, and my mother sat outside on a lawn chair. She sees an apple, and that did it; we were making applesauce,” Esposito recalls. “My mother would get onto a plane and have dozens of eggs with her, and she’d start handing them out to the flight attendants. This is how we lived.” Esposito pursued another career first. She became a teacher. But things changed in 1980 when she took her first trip to Italy with her husband. “I went to a cooking school in Sorento, and I was totally bored because the professor who was half Swiss and half Italian was making dishes that I already knew how to make. I wanted a challenge; I wanted some‐ thing different,” she says. “But it made me realize, wow, my mother and grandmother had given me such a wealth of information and tradition. I’ve got to start appreciating this more.” And so she did. “I decided to give full attention to my Italian heritage.” She grew to love the art, and by the end of the decade, she would begin hosting what is now the longest running cooking show in the country, Ciao Italia, which airs on PBS. “It feels good that we’ve been able to teach and entertain people and have them understand

Salumi in Pasta Sfoglia/Puff Pastry with Italian Cured Meats

what the regionalization of food is all about.” Esposito grew to love Italy more and more, and as her love grew so too did her commitment to traveling there to take it all in. “Italians use food to feed themselves but to also describe their feelings, their traditions.” She’s visited more than 30 times, and each time, she’s kept a journal to log her adven‐ tures, the people she met, the dishes she ate, the traditions she learned or participated in. And those journals? They became the foundation for each one of the 13 books she would eventually write. Her most recent, Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy, is a capstone of Esposito’s career. “I included very regional recipes, but gave you a tour of Italy as well,” she says. “I filled it with over 150 regional recipes that tell you why this recipe is called this, what the folklore is, and the scenes you see. It encap‐ sulates 30 years of going back and forth to Italy, from the top of the boot to the bottom.” This book seems different than her oth‐ ers. It is a travel log of sorts, one where you’re transported to Italy in some way through each recipe and section and at the end somehow end up back in your kitchen with an authentic meal on your counter. “You can never dupli‐ cate the taste, but you can come very close by following the techniques that Italians use to create a dish,” Esposito explains. “Not every‐ body can stand in a kitchen all day long to make food. We’re a mobile society, so I thought about how I could take a recipe and streamline it for the American home.” Each section of the book offers a glimpse into life in Italy. It helps readers understand why certain types of dishes are important to the culture there. As Esposito explains, "Given that Italy is surrounded by water on three sides, it is easy to understand why seafood is a big part of the diet." Make sure to try Mary Ann's Insalata di Mare, a pure example of this philosophy. The recipes that follow are simple, easily digestible in both format and language. Readers are treated to short factoids about a key ingredient in the recipe or a story from one of Esposito’s many adventures. And beneath all of that, evident in her writing and understanding, is a sincere appreciation for the traditions instilled in her by her family. “I’ve been writing this book since I was a CRL child,” she says. “I just didn’t know it.”

Insalata di Mare (Seafood Salad) This rich and succulent seafood medley is best when allowed to marinate for several hours or overnight. The presentation is nice, too.

Serves 8 Ingredients • 3 lemons, 1 cut into ¼-inch slices and 2 juiced • Coarse sea salt to taste • 1 pound large dry sea scallops, cut in half crosswise • 1½ pounds large shrimp (21–25 count), unpeeled • 1 pound squid rings • cup extra-virgin olive oil • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt • ¼ teaspoon celery salt • 8 ounces lump crabmeat • Coarse colored Margarita salt (optional) • ½ cup minced fresh mint • 2 large blood oranges or navel oranges, 1 juiced and 1 cut into 8 wedges

Directions • Fill a medium saucepan with water; add the lemon slices and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the scallops, and gently cook them for about 3 minutes, or just until they look opaque. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon to a large bowl, keeping them in a pile. Set aside.

• Add the shrimp to the saucepan and cook them for about 2 minutes, just until the shells turn pink; remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon. Cool, peel, and devein the shrimp. Place them in the bowl with the scallops. • Add the squid rings to the saucepan and simmer them for about 20 minutes, or until they are tender. Cooking them too fast over high heat will make them tough. Remove the squid rings with a slotted spoon and add them to the bowl. • Pour the olive oil into a 9 x 12-inch glass casserole dish. Stir in the lemon juice, celery salt, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well. Add the scallops, shrimp, squid, and crabmeat to the olive oil mixture. Stir to combine well. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or overnight. • When ready to serve, have 8 martini glasses or small ice cream sundae dishes ready. Wet the rims of each glass and dip the rims in Margarita salt, if desired. • Stir the mint into the seafood mixture and spoon it into the individual glasses. • Pour a little of the fresh orange juice over each dish. Make a small knife slit in the center of each orange wedge and anchor one over the rim of each glass. Serve. CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2019 |


Integrative medicine: complementary therapies for healthcare By Beth Krueger


t’s just not running smoothly,” you tell your mechanic about your car’s perform‐ ance and its bumpy start‐and‐stop ride. “Well, I can do this, and I can do that,” the mechanic replies, “but when did you last….” Yup, you haven’t driven mindfully, added qual‐ ity oil or given it the other care that an owner of such a big purchase should be committed to doing on a regular basis. Let’s move from the body shop to your body. What are your roles in your own health care, both when you are ill and when you’re feeling well? What are the roles of healthcare providers in helping you be a partner in your well‐being? Enter integrative medicine, some‐ times termed complementary therapies, some of which have been around for thousands of years. A number of practices in the Capital Region use integrative or complementary approaches. There’s an increasing amount of discus‐ sion and interest in integrative medicine but with that, comes some confusion about the nature of these therapies. MD Anderson Cancer Center, based in Houston, Texas, pro‐ vides this definition: “Integrative medicine is an approach to health care delivery that balances complemen‐ tary health approaches and lifestyle medicine with conventional medicine in a deliberate manner that is personalized, evidence‐ informed, and safe. Complementary health approaches refer to natural products (e.g., dietary supplements, herbals), mind and body practices (e.g., meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture) and other systems of care such as traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, or naturopathy.” [Inside Integrative Medicine, December 2018] Key phrases here include combining con‐ ventional and complementary approaches, the use of scientifically evidence‐based safe meth‐ ods, and a plan that is personalized for the individual’s conditions. Further, the comple‐ mentary therapies are identified in an integra‐ tive approach under the guidance of health‐ care professionals. Let’s meet some of the Capital Region’s integrative practitioners and learn how and why they developed their practices and what approaches they take.


Stram Center for Integrative Medicine The emergency room can be a window on ills and injuries. There, healthcare providers see acute health conditions where the focus is treatment for an injury, episode of illness, or an urgent medical condition, such as heart attack or stroke. Patients with situations stem‐ ming from chronic or longer‐term illness may also present there when a problem flares up. The emergency department is where Ronald Stram, MD, could be found earlier in his career. With a quarter century of work as a board‐certified emergency physician, he saw a need for a preventive and holistic approach to care to help “reduce the debilitation associat‐ ed with chronic disease so often seen too late in the emergency setting.” A fellowship fol‐ lowed for Dr. Stram with the world‐renowned integrative medicine physician and educator Andrew Weil, MD, and then the founding of the Stram Center for Integrative Medicine (90 Adams Place in Delmar) 17 years ago. More than 10,000 patients have been seen there over the years. “The mission was to create an integrative medicine approach. No one individual is equipped to handle the human condition,” he explained. In addition to Dr. Stram’s care, the Center includes nurse practitioners, acupunc‐ turists, nutritionists, massage therapists and healthcare providers in other complementary therapies. Patients with chronic disease may be experiencing poor quality of life—nausea or fatigue, for example—because of their condi‐ tion or from the side effects of treatment, such as chemotherapy. That’s where the comple‐ mentary therapies, in coordination with the conventional treatment, can make a differ‐ ence in an individual’s wherewithal to life’s activities. Patients coming to the Stram Center are asked a range of questions, from lifestyle, to what and when they eat, their sleep, activity, behavior, changes in routine or feeling of well‐ being, and more, during a 90 – 120‐minute session. There may be a look at such areas as hormonal issues and toxicity testing, too. Seeking the root of the problem, “we throw out a big net,” Dr. Stram explained. This is a

critical element in creating a very personalized plan for improvements that may involve ther‐ apies or actions by the patient, such as diet or activity. “We consider patients to be partners and help them navigate their health.” Follow‐ ups look at the status of health, such as cogni‐ tion, digestion, sleeping, and level of pain. Since the Center opened, Dr. Stram noted, patient awareness of and interest in seeking an integrative medicine approach have increased. The public discussion of opi‐ oids also has raised interest in integrative medicine’s approach to pain management through the use of other therapies and reduc‐ tion in reliance on pharmaceuticals. The patient composition also has shifted over the years. There’s been an increase in the number of male and pediatric patients at the Stram Center. It’s now about 50 percent each male and female. Last month, three families from Europe were visiting the Center for health services.

Elevate Naturopathic Amy Cole, ND, was on a pre‐med path in college when she encountered health prob‐ lems. The various medications were producing side effects. A visit to a naturopathic doctor resulted in her feeling better and sparked thoughts of a career in that field. She went to the University of Bridgeport, one of seven accredited naturopathic schools in North America. Dr. Cole maintains her Elevate Naturopathic offices at 407 Albany‐Shaker Road, Loudonville, and Bennington Center for the Healing Arts, 160 Benmont Avenue, Bennington, VT. The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, the accreditation agency for doctor‐ al programs in naturopathic medicine in the U.S. and Canada, defines naturopathic medicine as “a system of primary healthcare that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine … such as nutri‐ tion, lifestyle counseling and botanical medi‐ cine—to promote wellness and treat illness.” Dr. Cole holds a license as a naturopathic physician in Vermont. New York State current‐ ly does not offer ND licensure, so the Latham location provides consultation services using naturopathic principles to help support body,

ing alternative treatments, she said, but iden‐ tifying complementary therapies and actions.

“We focus on wellness, empowering people to have a role in their health”

mind and spirit, and referral as appropriate to other healthcare providers. In some cases, she noted, a patient may be coming to the office with a diagnosis and is seeking naturopathic approaches to aid in living with that problem, such as migraines. Her patient consultation, preceded by an extensive questionnaire, takes about 90 min‐ utes to listen and learn about the individual’s symptoms but also their lifestyle, emotions and life events. “I look for patterns and changes,” she said. A series of labs or other tests may be ordered to see where blood pres‐ sure, cholesterol or other conditions stand. The resulting plan—developed specific to the patient and shared with the primary care physician—might recommend changes in diet, activity, stress reduction, hydrotherapy, and other approaches. It’s not about recommend‐

Center for Integrative Health and Wellness A few months ago, two nurse practition‐ ers, Natasha Ruiz, FNP‐C, and Jennifer Goldstock, ANP‐BC, opened the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness, at 654 Watervliet Shaker Road in Latham. Each brings many years of nursing and integrative practice, including some time when they worked together. Reflecting need and interest, the Center already is a busy practice through word of mouth and Facebook. The 25‐year nursing career of Ms. Ruiz included emergency department work, as she considered acute care experience to be very important. But what can be done to promote preventive healthcare and quality of life for the non‐acute problems? “I wanted to know why people were sick,” and what could be done aside from a pill, she observed. This interest led to her training as a nurse practi‐ tioner and work in facilities that use integra‐ tive medicine and complementary therapies. Meanwhile, Ms. Goldstock was following a similar path in Chicago and elsewhere, including the treatment of persons with HIV and AIDS. She was raised with the view that

wise choices in food have a correlation with health, but she found that nutrition was not necessarily reflected in the meals served to patients – for example, dinner might be heavy on sugar. In pursuing training as a nurse prac‐ titioner, she also decided to focus on integra‐ tive medicine. They both report that patients of their practice are looking for the extensive patient‐ healthcare provider communication that is a key element of integrative medicine. “We need to get to know and connect with the patient,” Ms. Ruiz said. Questions also include the patients’ views and thresholds on involve‐ ment in their own healthcare. Patients, she added, also welcome the wide‐ranging work‐ ups. It’s a deep dive into what’s going on the patient’s well‐being now and their health‐ related history from birth. They also ask about medications and over‐the‐counter drugs and supplements. This promotes prevention, rather than dealing with a situation when something hap‐ pens. Their work‐ups seek to uncover the root of health problems. They note a recent case of tick‐borne illness that hadn’t crossed the mind of the patient. Ms. Goldstock explained that the review might also involve referrals with primary care and testing. Ms. Ruiz said, “We focus on wellness, empowering people to have a role in their health.” CRL




THE SENTINEL OF AMSTERDAM 10 Market Street, Amsterdam 518.896.0010; sentinelalf.com The Sentinel was created with a vision centered on providing individualized care in a home-like setting for seniors. Family owned and operated, The Sentinel brings decades of experience in the provision of quality care to its residents. Our philosophy focuses on taking a positive approach to senior living and our goals are to building an active and full life in a persons retirement years. We take great pride in our dedicated, caring and professional staff. Each staff member is carefully chosen for their courtesy and commitment to our residents.

THE SPINNEY AT VAN DYKE 6 Parker Mathusa Place, Delmar 518.689.0162; thespinneyatvandyke.com A New Approach to Community Living -- Leaving your house does not mean you have to leave your privacy behind. The Spinney at Van Dyke is a new approach to living for the “55 and better” community, allowing residents to move away from the burdens of owning their home while allowing a sense of privacy in a community setting. Each cottage at The Spinney features PRIVATE entryways, back, and front porches, as well as direct-access attached garages. The Spinney lifestyle is the smoothest transition from owning a home to downsizing and renting – come see why today!

GREENE MEADOWS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER 161 Jefferson Heights, Catskill 518.943.9380; greenemeadows.com Greene Meadows is a nursing and rehabilitation center that has served our community since 1975. Located in scenic Catskill, Greene Meadows is close proximity to all local hospitals. Not only has Greene Meadows long been acknowledged as a leading senior care provider, but our beautifully renovated facility also offers the comforts of home in a healthcare setting. Through the years, Greene Meadows has continued to grow and evolve to meet community needs, and today offers a full continuum of care from short-term rehabilitation to long-term skilled nursing care, specialty programs such as on-campus dialysis, in house diagnostics, Wound Care Center of Excellence, farm to table healthy eating, and more!



PINE HAVEN NURSING & REHABILITATION CENTER 201 Main Street, Philmont 518.672.7408; pinehavencarecenter.com You have a problem…You find yourself in a hospital; you are being discharged, but you can’t go home. You need more help, more time to get back on your feet. What do you do? If you prefer to receive your posthospital care close to home, friends, family the answer is simple. Ask the hospital Social Worker for a referral to Pine Haven Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Our friendly admissions staff will meet you and answer all of your questions. We will communicate effectively with your insurance provider to get the care you need covered under your plan. Our team of caring professionals will work with you to meet your personal goals. We make it easy from start to finish.

THE HOME OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD Various locations homeofthegoodshepherd.com The Home of the Good Shepherd assisted living facility offers residents superior, professional care in a warm home-like environment. Our size allows us to treat each resident as an individual, meeting his or her own needs and activity. With our licensure, we can provide a continuum of care while residents age in place with either our Enhanced or Memory Care services. Every resident has a personal care plan and individualized service plan. Delicious meals are served three times a day in our dining room. Therapeutic diets as ordered by the physician are also available. We offer a full calendar of in-house and outside activities.

SAFE CARE MOBILITY SERVICES 456 North Pearl Street, Albany 518.462.5923; safecaremobility.com Safe Care Mobility was founded on the idea that compassion is key. We provide the best possible medical transportation and ambulette service that we can. We use modern vehicles, maintained by in-house mechanics and our drivers are trained professionals. That means we take every possible step to make your ride comfortable, safe, and on time—with a smile! Safe Care Mobility Services is located in Albany and serves the greater Capital Region. Call us today and find out how we can help.



THE FURNITURE HOUSE 1254 Highway 9P, Saratoga Springs 1060 Route 9, Queensbury thefurniturehouseny.com Whether building a new home, downsizing or just updating your current home, The Furniture House is the place to come for your home furnishing needs. Our design staff will help make YOUR dreams a reality, YOUR personality shine through. We offer quality, unique pieces at a value you didn’t realize you could afford. Small rooms? No problem. Unique needs? No problem. From basic home pieces to murphy beds, custom pieces, adjustable coffee tables, jewelry mirrors, conversation sofas and more. Come see what all the buzz is about. The unusual as usual!

SOUTH END POWDER COATING 120 Catherine Street, Albany 518.469.0251; southendpowdercoating.com South End Powder Coating is a custom powder coater conveniently located in downtown Albany, offering a durable, long-lasting and beautiful finishing alternative to paint. Typical projects we encounter are lawn furniture, iron railings, decorative garden items, home radiators, and even car, truck, and motorcycle parts. With over 7,500 colors available, our personalized finishing service allows us to offer a finish to meet even the most demanding customer’s needs. Let your imagination run wild. Please give us a call to discuss your residential or commercial finishing projects. Why paint it? Powder coat it!

GHENT WOOD PRODUCTS 1262 Route 66, Ghent 518.828.5684; ghentwoodproducts.com Bringing nature into your home is a popular trend. With the raw beauty of wood comes the positive energy that aligns you with nature. Live edge slabs are a unique and specialized choice when it comes to selecting new counter tops, table tops, shelving and so much more. Each slab provides a beautiful contrast to a piece of furniture or setting and expresses the natural origin of the wood. Allow yourself to live on the edge and dream, as we can customize the slabs to fit your individual needs.

KUGLER’S RED BARN 425 Consaul Road, Schenectady 518.370.2468; Find us on Facebook At Kugler's Red Barn, you can find an assortment of styles including Country, Shaker, Primitive, Transitional, and Traditional. All of our furniture is made in CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2019 |



the USA by small family-owned factories. We take pride in the quality of handmade furniture and offer options in ash, oak, cherry, birch, and pine. We also carry a large selection of gifts and accessories, framed art and paints. We carry a full selection of furniture for the bedroom, dining room, kitchen, living room, and family room, occasional and entertainment centers.

CR GAS LOGS & FIREPLACES, INC. 15 Drywall Lane, Voorheesville 518.765.4279; crgaslogs.com CR Gas Logs and Fireplaces has been a leader in the hearth and patio industry in the Greater Capital District for over 30 years. We pride ourselves on providing each customer with high-quality customer service, knowledge, and advice. Our staff will help educate you on the right choice for your home. Our goal is to have every person we speak with, no matter if they purchase or not, leave us with a positive shopping experience. Call today for a free home estimate.

PATTERSONVILLE FURNITURE 1664 Main Street, Pattersonville 518.887.2741; pattersonvillefurniture.net Pattersonville Furniture Store has been delivering the finest furniture and quality customer service to the Capital Region for 83 years. This family-owned and operated business, located just west of Schenectady, has been helping customers with their furniture needs since 1936. Pattersonville carries over 30 lines of American-made solid wood furniture. Stop by our showroom at 1664 Main Street in Pattersonville and see our quality products. We offer free delivery, free set-up, free removal, and free financing. Open daily from 10am-5pm; Thursday and Friday until 9pm; closed Sunday.

SCHENECTADY FLOOR COVERING 1910 Maxon Road Ext., Schenectady 518.372.5664; schenectadyfloorcovering.com


In business for over 50 years, Schenectady Floor Covering has built its business on its reputation for customer service. Our 9,000-square-foot showroom has all the brands you know and trust with all the latest styles, colors and designs. We specialize not only in carpet but also hardwood, ceramic tile, area rugs, laminate, and vinyl flooring. We are the Capital District's premier Karastan dealer. As part of America's leading flooring retail group, we can provide customers with low prices on many flooring options backed by the most solid warranties in the floor covering industry.




Corrections take time


fter a run‐up like investors enjoyed from the last Presidential election through this past September, it became apparent that at some point a correction was inevitable. All investors say they want them and claim that they are a healthy, but a necessary evil. However, nobody knows when they will come. Indeed some investors sell their holding and run for the hills as corrections are downright fright‐ ening as both the depth of the pullback as well as the length of time it will take is then unknown. Corrections can be likened to a road trip to an unknown destination. How far is it? How long will it take? Should I stop (sell), take a rest and regroup? Will I ever get to where I want to go? You’re tired. You don’t know how long it will last. You are low on gas. You get our drift…. Hopefully what follows will provide some clarity to an otherwise murky topic – corrections in the stock market. The generally accepted definition of a correction is one in which the broad market indices drop at least ten percent but less than twenty percent. A decline of more than twenty percent is defined as a bear market. How often do corrections occur? The post‐World War II data suggests that corrections occur about once every year or so with an average decline of approximately thirteen percent, lasting about four months. What is unusual about this year is that after such a lack of volatility during 2017, a year in which there were no corrections, 2018 has delivered us two thus far, further heightening investor concern. Let us first state that fundamentally, the economy is just fine. Growth, as represented by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is running at an annualized rate of approximately three percent. Unemployment is low, and consumers are optimistic. Furthermore, stocks are reasonably valued, trading at a little over fifteen times next year’s earnings. So then, what is the worry? We can identify at least three issues that have caused our recent indigestion. Number one, investors are concerned that this “Goldilocks Economy” as described above is as good as it gets. That it is all downhill from here and that all of the good news is already priced into the stock market. Although we do believe that earnings growth has peaked during this economic cycle, in part due to the boost from the tax cut, we do not believe that they will decelerate to such an extent as to warrant a long‐ lasting pullback in the stock market. Number two, new Fed Chairs historically endure a baptism of fire. Alan Greenspan, who was appointed in August 1987, had to contend with Black Monday less than two months after his appointment. On October 19, 1987, the stock market cratered more than twenty percent. For Ben Bernanke, who was appointed in February 2006 it was the Great Recession. New Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who was just appointed this past February, faces the challenge of normalizing interest rates without pushing the economy into a premature recession. The final reason that we believe the market has pulled back is due to the trade war with China. We liken this to a barroom brawl – after the first punch is thrown, all bets are off. Nobody can accurately predict the outcome. Investors fear that even if the United States prevails in this struggle with China, there will be economic casualties. The stock market could be one of these casualties. Our current baseline belief is that the economy is indeed doing well and that the other two reasons for the decline, perhaps an over‐hawkish


Fed and a long trade war with China will both most likely be averted. As we have stated several times within this column over the last couple of months, picking a bottom to a correction is a fool’s game. Some advice we are passing along includes the facts that bottoms to cor‐ rections are usually a process and not an event. Move up in quality. Raise a little cash so you can sleep at night. Don’t try to get all of your losses back at once. Think long‐term as the stock market has always recovered from corrections as well as bear markets. Other than your job, it is your most direct route to the creation and preservation of wealth. Finally, continue to expect more volatility, regardless of the outcome with the economy, with the Fed and with China. Risk has increased, and we are not early in the economic cycle. Please note that all data is for general information purposes only and not meant as specific recommendations. The opinions of the authors are not a recommendation to buy or sell the stock, bond market or any security contained therein. Securities contain risks and fluctuations in principal will occur. Please research any investment thoroughly prior to committing money or consult with your financial advisor. Please note that Fagan Associates, Inc. or related persons buy or sell for itself securi‐ ties that it also recommends to clients. Consult with your financial advi‐ sor prior to making any changes to your portfolio. To contact Fagan Associates, Please call 518‐279‐1044. Dennis and Christopher are Capital Region natives, who have been help‐ ing their clients navigate the financial markets since 1989. Contact them at 518.279.1044.


Find your passion, find your bliss


e have had a month to work on our resolutions and the inten‐ tions that we set on the New Year. Hopefully, we are holding to these intentions and are starting to see how they benefit us. For some, these intentions may have been working on health or diets, but this is also a time to look toward your true passions, and believing in yourself. The last Full Moon of 2018 provided a time for reflection on our intentions and progress towards those goals. Astrologically, The Full Moon was in Cancer, which is about passion but also fertility. This influ‐ ences creativity, intuition, and trusting yourself. Together with the impact of Uranus, we were fortified to take chances and expecting posi‐ tive change or positive ideas to come to you, especially relating to finances or career. Opposing the Sun in Capricorn – the workhorse of the signs – the full moon in Cancer was also about home, family, and your love life. The culmination of the two astrological events showed that we could have it all and find a balance between the two worlds of work and career and home and family. Of course, as we moved through January, so too did the sun move from Capricorn to Aquarius, which is where we will start this month. Aquarius brings with it the energy to be creative and re‐evaluate to ensure that your ideas and intentions are on the right track but also emboldens you to take a few chances with those ideas that you may nor‐ mally not take. On February 18th the sun returns to Pisces, which brings with it a time to trust your intuition and pay attention to opportunities. This is especially clear when it comes to releasing sources of negativity or sources that contradict your own vision for your life. The Virgo Full Moon on Feb 19th is a perfect time to take a personal inventory to see if you are happy with your progress. It is also a great time to make changes or adjustments to your original goals to benefit you and your vision. It is never too late to find your passion, after all, February is the month we associate with love and lovers. So, why not find what you love about you? Your passion, your dreams, and desires. We all have special gifts and talents and have said: "someday, I will turn that into a busi‐ ness." Well, what’s wrong with now? Let go of the fear that may be blocking you so you can achieve your goals. As a numerologist, February is represented by the number two. And quite fitting for the month of Valentine's day as it represents unions and love, but it also represents all love and creativity and the things you love about you and your gifts. In this concept, creativity is based on what you love, so it is as much about your artistic nature as it is your love and pas‐ sion for all the things you enjoy and your beliefs.

Meditation for the New Moon New Moons always represent new beginnings. On the New Moon ‐ February 4th, as you find your happy place, shut out all of the external and internal noise and relax. Light a pink candle, representing love. In this case, it has to do with loving yourself. If you wish, write your inten‐

tions for what you wish to create or to build on and place it under the candle. Close your eyes and let your mind take you to a place that you love. The ocean, a lake, or into the woods and feel the negativity, the everyday worries and old fears leaving you and breathe in new energy. Now visualize your new intentions and do this as the outcome you wish…not a map or plan on how to get there. If you want to create a business, see the business and the outcome you desire; if you write, visu‐ alize your book with a title and in a bookstore; if you are considering schooling, visualize the outcome of that coursework. Stay focused on your intention and relaxed. Leave the candle lit as long as you wish but keep the thoughts with you. When you extinguish the candle take the candle and the written intention and bury near your front door as it rep‐ resents the planting of the seed. February, the month of love, we often reflect on that essential part of our lives. For those looking for love, light a pink candle and visualize new love coming into your life. Be specific as to what qualities you are looking for in a love interest. Much like finding your passion and guiding yourself toward what you love, this process is always about loving your‐ self and believing in you first. Find and follow Alexx Bradley on Facebook




How to style a button-down, white shirt


rends come and go, but the versatility of the classic white but‐ ton‐down is perpetual. It has the benefits of a blank slate and can be dressed down or dressed up. The white shirt or button‐down is a classic, as well as a basic in everyone’s wardrobe (and when I say everyone, I include men!) Here are some ideas for styling your favorite white shirt:

Casual There is little that doesn’t go well with a pair of jeans, and unsur‐ prisingly, the white button‐down is no exception. Both items are two of your closets “go‐to’s,” and together, they look so fresh and clean. Try wearing a sweater, either v‐neck or crew neck, with the collar out and the white shirt peeking out from underneath the sweater. I recommend getting a white shirt that is longer in the back compared to the front, so the shirt has a fresh spin on this classic look. Pair the sweater and white shirt with a dark skinny jean, and you will look very put together. Another simple but classic look is front tucking the white shirt into your jeans and leaving the back out. Also knotting the shirt at the waist, so it sits right on top or just below your jeans with a nice boot‐cut jean is also a very smart look. Wear with a pair of casual winter boots or a relaxed pair of sneakers for a comfortable, casual appearance. In addition to jeans, you can also pair your sneakers or comfy shoes with a plaid or black pant with the white shirt for a weekend vibe.

Girls night out or out with your sweetie When it comes to those fun nights out with your friends or your sig‐ nificant other, the white shirt once again comes to the rescue. Add a warm scarf and place the scarf behind your back, and below your shoulder, near your bicep and wrap under your arms. You can keep the blouse out, or front tucked, again add your favorite skinny or dark denim jeans, and you will once again have that comfortable, cozy but chic, night out look. Another spin on this look is to wear a long sleeveless vest that hits below the behind. For a night out on the town, I recommend a “teddy bear” fabric vest to add that something special. For this look, leggings are the perfect compliment with your knee high or over the knee boots (which are still on trend in case you are wondering!) If you are more of a dress or skirt girl, I would suggest pairing it with a voluminous skirt, tucked‐in. Another great look is to pair the blouse under a trapeze or fit and flare dress; either sleeveless, ¾ sleeved, or short‐sleeved. The white blouse looks great with these types of shapes and gives a nice Parisian, chic look. Add tights and knee‐high boots or pumps to complete the outfit.

Business A few quintessential office looks come together with the perfect white shirt. A classic camel colored blazer, white shirt, and black pants or skirt is a perennial favorite. A white shirt with either a high‐waisted skirt or pencil skirt with pumps and a waist belt is another office winner. Lastly, nothing says importance and power more than with the clas‐ sic black blazer and a flared pair of matching black pants with, you guessed it, the white blouse. The pants should skim the floor with just your toe area peeking out. Add a pair of pointed pumps or heeled booties to complete the look. 42 | FEBRUARY 2019 | CRLMAG.COM

For a more “casual Friday” business attire look, try a white shirt paired with a duster (sleeveless or sleeved) and add a pair of dark pants and even a pair of colorful heels to brighten up your otherwise colorless ensemble. It is a stylish look that won’t disappoint. As with everything, there are a few drawbacks to this staple piece. The white can make you look a bit washed out (adding accessories can help with this) and they get dirty really quickly; bleach and other laundry cleaning solutions help. Here are just some of the advantages of a nice white blouse: • It gives you a clean, crisp look. • It combines with every other color you have. • It is a perfect background for your fabulous accessories like jewel‐ ry and scarves. • It is perfect to wear with all the plaid or colored trousers that are so fashionable now. • You can wear them in so many different ways. – Tuck them in – Wear with a belt – Semi tuck/front or side tuck – Wear them lose over leggings as long as the back side is covered – Tie a knot in front – Wear to the Oscars with a formal long skirt (remember Sharon Stone!) There are many examples of how to wear (and rock) this chic and timeless shirt. Try one, try them all! Most importantly, feel great in your white, must‐have, classic shirt! Luann is a lifelong curator of fashion and enjoys researching the latest trends and tips for all of our Capital Region Living readers. You can reach her at luann@crlmag.com.


Bringing a furbaby into your family


any of us grew up with pets, and enjoy the relationship and feelings that a pet can bring to the home. Now, as adults, we may have brought a pet into the family, or perhaps are consid‐ ering a family pet. If you are wavering about the benefits of a family pet, let’s go over a few proven facts.

The value of having a family pet While the studies in the area are not necessarily the tightest in design, the results are consistent and tend to follow our personal intu‐ ition as pet owners. Here are some of the repeated findings: • Dogs tend to lower blood pressure and heart rate under stress • Caring for a pet tends to create a sense of companionship and belonging for the lonely • Watching fish in a fish tank lowers blood pressure • Heart attack victims are 8.5 times more likely to be alive one year later with a dog as a pet • Pet owners have a lower risk of coronary heart disease • Owning a dog tends to reduce anxiety and blood sugar, due to walking habits • Dog and cat owners present with fewer minor physical complaints • Pets reduce the impact of highly stressful life events • Depression and anxiety are lessened with bringing a pet into the home • Dogs, in particular, serve as social lubricators when in public

But, do pets benefit children in particular? While the research seems clear that we adults get health, as well as psychological, benefits from owning a pet, what are the benefits for our children…if any? Here again, our intuition would tell us that owning a pet must be good for kids. However, the research here is inadequate and conflicted. Unlike the impact on adults, we simply have conflicted results, or an absence of quality research to conclude strongly that children benefit from pet ownership. For some families, mom and dad take over the pets and chil‐ dren are not involved in their care. For others, families become so active that the pet fades into the background, and becomes ignored. (This is heart‐wrenching for those of us who are pet lovers, finding abandoned pets at the shelter who simply become disposable when they are no longer interesting.) Also, children may fall in love with the puppy at the kennel, but then only want the ‘good times’ without stepping up to take on more respon‐ sibility. Some pets spend much time outdoors, and others are indoor pets. These are all variables which make the research conflicted and con‐ fusing about the benefits of pet ownership for children. Thus, we can’t muster a data‐based argument that you ‘should’ go out and get your son or daughter a pet. But let’s assume that you might be somewhat like me. You grew up with pets, cared for them and loved them. When they were sick, you nur‐ tured them. When they passed, you cried. You cannot imagine that your life was not made better by the influence of the family pet. In my life, pets have played an integral part in my development. As a child and adolescent, I learned about compassion, friendship, respon‐ sible care, and loss. All of which are important parts of life. So, I have no doubt about the personal value of owning a pet.

However, as a psychologist consulting with families daily, I see the differences in how seriously parents take the role of pet ownership. This variation in families may easily explain the inconsistent conclusions about pet ownership. Thus, let’s consider how we can optimize the home so the pets can be of maximum benefit to our families, and we can fulfill our responsi‐ bility to our pets as well.

Setting Up a System of Responsible Pet Care To ensure that kids can learn and benefit from pet ownership, con‐ sider these simple guidelines: 1. If possible, have a clear discussion before getting the pet. Go over the treatment of the pet, and how each member will take on the responsibility of care. Emphasize that time daily will be devoted to the care of the pet, such as walking, feeding or cleaning. While this talk will not ensure action, it does lay the groundwork for your plan. 2. Choose a pet that has safety statistics on your side. Most family pets are appropriate for children, and some are not. Every year, almost a half million children present with pet bites. By far, these are younger children. Choosing a dog or breed, in particular, that is known to be calm around children is important. 3. If young children are inappropriate or aggressive with the pet, give the pet the attention. When young children are aggressive or physical with the pet, pick up the pet and give the pet all the attention. If this is persistent, walk away with the pet to another room…and put all your energies on the pet. Then, keep the pet in your bedroom, for example, for the rest of the day. Rather than verbally disciplining the child, make sure you are modeling kind and gentle behavior and then shower the pet with love and care during those aggressive moments. Young children quickly learn to take better care of the pet this way 4. Build a system for the daily care of the pet. Require all family members to help with care. From feeding to cleaning to walking, everyone can share in this. Just like other areas of life, use leverage to make this happen. No one gets to their ‘goodies’ until they have taken care of their pet responsibilities. If you practice these simple strategies, you will find that kids come around to be careful, kind and responsible for the family pet. Under this model, I am confident the family pet will serve everyone! Dr. Randy Cale offers practical guidance for a host of parenting concerns. For more information visit terrificparenting.com.





2/10 2 – 3 PM

2/7 – 2/17 VARIOUS TIMES

A Little Sunday Music: The Bleeker Consort – Bethlehem Public Library; This audience favorite will play a diverse set of instruments, including early strings, reeds and a variety of percussion. Call 518.439.9314 or visit bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

Park Playhouse presents “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” – Cohoes Music Hall; A charming production featuring everyone’s favorite comic strip characters – Charlie Brown, Sally, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Snoopy. parkplayhouse.com

2/13 7 – 8:30 PM Red Carpet Trivia Night for Adults – Bethlehem

Public Library; Come alone or as a team and match wits with others at this special Academy Awards themed challenge. Call 518.439.9314 or visit bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

2/14 5 – 6:30 PM 100 Women Who Care Albany – Delmar Reformed Church, Delmar; Join in on the excitement that comes with pooling our resources to benefit community nonprofits. Find us on Facebook for more information.

2/18 11 AM & 2 PM Bawshou and the Water Dragon – Bethlehem Public Library; Storytellers Bells & Motley, present a traditional Chinese tale of wonder and adventure through costume, dance and music performed on authentic Chinese instruments. Call 518.439.9314 or visit bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

2/18 7 – 8 PM Underground Railroad History – Bethlehem Public Library; Mary Liz and Paul Stuart from the Stephan and Harriet Myers Residence in Albany will give a talk about the local Underground Railroad and how it parallels the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s Project. Call 518. 439.9314 or visit bethlehempubliclibrary.org.

3/2 6:30 PM The Benedicts Social Dinner Dances for Couples – The Century House; Join the Benedicts as they dance the evening away to the sounds of TS Ensemble. Find us on Facebook for information.


Happy Valentine’s Day

2/16 1 PM Snow or No! Snowshoe or Hike – Taconic State Park, Copake Falls; Join us for a family friendly snowshoe adventure. Some snowshoes available to borrow. If there is no snow, we hike. Enjoy hot chocolate and a bonfire after the hike! Find Taconic State Park Copake Falls on Facebook.

Italian Specialties To Bring Out Your Inner Child C LASSIC I TALIAN PASTRIES & B READS 672 New Loudon Rd. Latham • 783-0196; 721 River St. Troy • 274-8277 www.bellanapolibakery.com


2/22 – 2/24 VARIOUS TIMES The Marvelous Wonderettes – The Falls, Hudson; If you enjoy music of the 50’s and 60’s,

this show’s for you! This is a dinner theatre and brunch theatre presentation. Show starts at 7:30 PM Friday & Sat urday and 2PM Sunday. Visit upstageproductions.org for more information.

FULTON COUNTY 2/9 – 2/10 10 AM – 5 PM 14th Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show – Loyal Order of the Moose, Johnstown; Come out to enjoy exhibits, vendors, authors, and industry experts geared toward the tastes of Hunters, Fisherman and Outdoor Enthusiasts! For more information visit adkshow.com, or call 518.725.5565.

2/16 7 AM – 3 PM 2019 Walleye Ice Fishing Tournament – The Great Sacandaga Lake. For information call 518. 425.0641.

GREENE COUNTY 2/9 – 2/10 10AM – 4 PM Winter Maker’s Market – Greenville Arms 1889 Inn, Greenville, Showcasing over 15 local makers with a variety of handmade goods. Find us on Facebook for more information.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 2/8 7 PM Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra at the Amsterdam Elks! – Elks Lodge, Amsterdam; Come listen and dance to great salsa music. For more information call 518.339.2260 or visit Amsterdam Elks on Facebook.

2/14 1 PM Senior Citizen’s Movie Day at Emerald Cinemas – Route 30, Amsterdam; $5 includes movie, popcorn and soda. For more information call 518.842.1861.

RENSSELAER COUNTY 2/6 – 2/15 VARIOUS DAYS/ TIMES Baskerville – Theatre Institute at Sage, Troy; The CAPITAL REGION LIVING MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2019 |


A&E male heirs of Baskerville are being murdered one by one and the renowned sleuth, Holmes along with his trusted sidekick, Watson, must crack the curse! Visit theatre.sage.edu for more information.

2/9 12 PM – 2 PM Be Our Valentine – The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy; Experience the joy of fiber arts by making small fabric hearts and enjoy chocolate tasting and demonstrations. Find us on Facebook for more information.

2/9 – 2/10 VARIOUS TIMES Romantic Chopin – Troy Savings Bank Music Hall; Join conductor David Alan Miller and pianist Orion Weiss for this Valentine Weekend special concert. albanysymphony.com

2/12 NOON Music at Noon – Troy Savings Bank Music Hall; Bring your lunch and enjoy this free music series featuring Red Canna Trio. Find us on Facebook for more information.

2/13 7:30 PM “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Live!” – Troy Savings Bank Music Hall; The off Broadway hit comedy based on the bestselling book by John Gray. For more information, visit troymusichall.org.

2/20 6:30 PM Disaster Prep – Rensselaer Public Library; The Red Cross will help you be ready to handle emergencies and disasters of different kinds. To sign up please call 518.462.1193.

2/23 9 AM Day Before the Awards Film Festival – Rensselaer Public Library; Come watch an Oscar nominated film for best animated feature. All participants must have a free ticket, visit rensselaerlibrary.org for details.

2/26 7 PM Erie Canal Presentation by Jack Casey – Poestenkill Town Hall. For more information call 518.244.3078.

SATURDAYS THRU APRIL 27 9AM – 2PM Troy Waterfront Farmers Market – Troy Atrium; Same great market indoors for the winter months! Visit troymarket.org for more information.

SARATOGA COUNTY 2/2 11 – 4 PM 21st Annual Saratoga Chowderfest – Downtown Saratoga; Family friendly, fun and utterly delicious! Over 80 vendors open their doors and serve bowls of hot chowder to event goers. discoversaratoga.org 46 | FEBRUARY 2019 | CRLMAG.COM



A&E 2/3 2 PM

2/14 6:30 PM


Concert: Broad Street Trio – Clifton Park Halfmoon Public Library; A performance by flutist Elizabeth Chinery, pianist David Smith and cellist Jay Shulman. Call 518.371.8622 or visit cphlibrary.com for more information.

Foreign Film Series – Fill the Void (2002) – Clifton Park Halmoon Public Library; In Hebrew. Rated PG; 90min. Call 518.371.8622 or visit cphlibrary.com for more information.


2/8 10:30 AM


2019 Lake George Winter Carnival – Lake George Village; A month long celebration of winter during this annual family friendly festival. Visit lakegeorge.com for schedule of events.


FRIDAYS THRU 2/22 3:30 – 4:30 PM

Little Known, Seldom Visited – Clifton Park Halfmoon Public Library; Rhona Koretzky and Bernie Forman, avid travelers and photographers will show you the highlights of their visits to lesser known National Parks and Monuments. Call 518.371.8622 or visit cphlibrary.com for more information.

Dog Obedience Course – Schenectady Dog Training Club; Classes offered in Puppy, Obedience, Rally and Agility. Please visit sdtcdogs.com for information on the registration procedures.

Artist Adventures – World Awareness Children’s Museum, Glens Falls, Children will learn about our diverse world through art by creating their own masterpieces. For pricing and reservations call 518.793.2773.

2/24 2 – 4 PM


2/11 6:30 PM

Word Plays at Proctor’s: Inside Out – Proctor’s Theater; Several performers tell contemporary and traditional stories celebrating the human spirit. This shared experience between the audience and the performer, combines the intesity of the solo performer with the intimacy of a face-toface conversation.

South High Marathon Dance – South Glens Falls; This annual fundraiser is in its 41st year and has grown to include the whole community. Come watch the students dance throughout the day and night over their 28-hour marathon and stay to enjoy food, raffles and live and silent auctions all while raising money to support local charities. smhd.org for more information.

Author Gordon Korman – Clifton Park Halfmoon Public Library; Join us for an exciting evening with the prolific, 80+books and still going strong, and wildly inventive author, as he shares his process, writing and humor. Registration requested. Call 518.371.8622 or visit cphlibrary.com for more information.

ADVERTISERS | DIRECTORY 677 Prime ..............................................28

Dr. Randy Cale ........................................44

Lozman Orthodontics ..............................5

Skin Solutions ........................................16

Adirondack Orthodontics ........back cover

Effie's Boutique ......................................19

Meier Law Firm, PLLC ............................12

South End Powder Coating ....................37

Animal Protective Foundation ..............26

El Mariachi..............................................29

MKas Lika Boutique ..............................13

Sri Siam ....................................................8

Artistry of Face ........................................9

Fagan Associates, Inc. ..........................46

NeviTrek Snowshoes..............................15

Take 2 Artworks ....................................17

Awards By Walsh ....................................7

Ghent Wood Products ............................37

Nicole's Restaurant, Special Events &

The Animal Hospital ..............................21

Gold Coin ................................................28

Catering ........................inside front cover

The Furniture House ..............................37

Bella Napoli Bakery................................44

Gomez Neurology ....................................4

Nina Sher - Hunt Real Estate ................16

The Greens at Copake Country Club ....28

Berkshire Museum ................................46

Guilderland Animal Hospital ..................21

Old Daley Custom Catering......................3

The Inn at Erlowest ................................29

Gus's Hot Dogs ......................................44

Pattersonville Furniture ........................38

The Open Door Bookstore......................15

Blue Iris Photos ......................................10

Healthy Café Catering ............................20

Pause Gallery..........................................19

The Sentinel of Amsterdam ..................34

Buttermilk Falls........................................8

Home Of The Good Shepherd ................36

Pine Haven/Greene Meadows Nursing &

The Spinney Group ................................34

Azalea ....................................................15

Bethlehem Terrace ................................45

Canali's Restaurant................................27

Howe Caverns ..........................................7

Capital District Flower & Garden Show ..45

Illium Café Bistro ..................................19

Chez Mike ..............................................28

Joyelles Jewelers ..................................13

CR Gaslogs & Fireplaces........................38

Kugler's Red Barn ..................................38

Cross Eyed Owl ......................................12

L. Browe..................................................45

Crossroads Brewery ..............................33

Laberge Massage Therapy ....................17

DeMarco's Restaurant ..........................29

Lake Ridge Restaurant ..........................27


Rehabilitation Centers ..........................35 RAD Soap Co. ........................................11 Rensselaer County Tourism ..................47 Safe Care Mobility Services ..................36

Towne Tavern ........................................29 Uncle Sam's Candy ................................33 Ungerman Electric..................................15

Schenectady Dog Training Club ..........21

Warmth of Winter - Colonie Senior Services ......................................49

Schenectady Floor Covering..................39

Wolberg Lighting

Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce ....44

Design & Electrical ......inside back cover




Keller’s heart


e should have died if we’re being honest about things. Most full‐ bred dogs that are born severely disabled are often put down as some misguided act of mercy. That’s the polite way they describe it, “put down.” As if you picked something up in a store, didn’t like the price tag on the bottom and just put it back down on the shelf and walk away. But Keller lived, only to be abandoned on the street, like a chewing gum wrapper, one cold spring day. I suppose the owner assumed nature or a four‐wheel drive truck would do what they didn’t want to do; end things for this unfortunate ball of white fur. He, and per‐ haps God, had other plans. Somehow he didn’t get hit by a car, wandering around blind, and found his way to the shelter with the rest of the strays. I was volunteer‐ ing one afternoon at the shelter and saw him in a crate with his messed up eyes and sad tale to tell. He emerged from his cage, smelled the room and came directly over to me. He probably smelled my dog's scent on me when he put his head on my foot. For a little dog, I felt the weight of a cruel world resting hard on my sneaker. “Choose me, and you won’t regret it,” he said. Keller never was a liar. My wife and I already had two puppies at home and a senior dog who was very sick so it was insane to adopt a blind and deaf puppy. Insane. A week or two after the surgery to close up his missing eyes we brought him home, the stitches still fresh. I called him Keller earlier in this story, but the truth was he didn’t have a name when we adopted him. We called him that as a nod to another brave survivor who saw and changed the world without the use of eyes and ears, Hellen Keller. This month the world will learn about Keller’s story and see his per‐ fect face when a children’s book I wrote comes out in hardback from Paraclete Press. They published my first book about the death of a dog, “God Needed A Puppy,” and when they read Keller’s story decided they wanted that one too. The book isn’t about me or my wife and pups. It tells the story of a little girl named Raven who is deaf and struggling to fit in at school. The other kids are nice enough to her but treat her a little bit different, a lit‐ tle too carefully as if she’ll break. It’s not what she wants. Raven and her classmates take a trip to the local animal shelter, and Raven is immediately drawn to a puppy that was thrown away by his owner because he’s blind and deaf. She sees him and, although he can’t see her, when they open his crate to a room full of children he smells the air and walks directly over to Raven and rests his head on her foot. Sound familiar? I won’t tell you the rest of the story or the lesson Raven and Keller teach the world just in case you want to buy the book for a child in your life. I can tell you Keller possesses a secret which Raven later reveals and it is the reason for the book’s title, Keller’s Heart. My purpose for mentioning the new book isn’t to bolster sales but to share a truth. I was terrified to bring Keller home. How would he fit in with the other dogs? What if he got sick? Could we handle this? We live in a world that seeks perfection and puts filters on everything to make them look better. But real life doesn’t come with a filter. Often things are less than perfect, and there’s true beauty in that. Keller is the best thing that ever happened to our family. He teach‐


es patience and resilience and that nothing is so broken it should be thrown away. He has also taught me not to treat anyone with different abilities, be they two legs or four, as if they are made of glass or in need of sympathy or saving. It is condescension the person or pet with the pre‐ sumed disability can do without. If you watched my Keller roughhouse with my two big German Shepherds, you’d truly understand. Someone recently asked me who Raven was based on? I told them she represents any child struggling to fit in because they are a little dif‐ ferent. With so many of our children on the autism spectrum, it can be tough at school. My hope is this simple story, and Keller’s real‐life exam‐ ple will inspire those children to hold their heads up. You know that’s the funny thing about Keller. Because he must rely on his nose to find things he raises that perfect face high in the air, so he doesn’t miss a thing. So, the dog someone threw away now holds his head higher than the stars; a posture befitting a prince. John Gray is weekly columnist for the Troy Record and the Saratogian newspapers and news anchor at ABC 10 and FOX 23. He can be reached at johngray@fox23news.com.

Profile for Capital Region Living Magazine

CRL February 2019